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Judging of others

Published on -3/2/2014, 6:41 PM

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Judging of others

A few weeks ago, I submitted a sarcastic letter to The Hays Daily News in an attempt to point out the hypocrisy of a proposed law allowing employers to deny marital benefits to any of their employees who have entered into same-sex marriage.

At least one reader attempted to rebut my argument, but appeared to miss my point entirely. I knew my argument probably would offend some people who have divorced and remarried, and the rebuttal might have come from such an offended reader who has remarried. I don't enjoy offending people, but the whole point was to show heterosexual couples how it must feel when people accuse you of living a sinful lifestyle, and based on that judgment, want to deny you rights and opportunities for which you would otherwise be entitled.

Although homosexuality is defined as a sin by isolated passages in the Bible, similar isolated passages define divorcing your wife, except for fornication, and remarrying another woman as adultery. Adultery is condemned many more times throughout the Bible than homosexuality. Adultery even made the "Top 10" list of rules God wants us to follow, according to Moses.

I've never committed adultery or had homosexual relations, but I have fornicated with women in my past. I certainly would feel singled out if Fort Hays State University President Edward Hammond denied me benefits my coworkers get simply because he judged me for this one particular sin and imposed a penalty he believed his religious freedom justified.

Two homosexuals being married to each other and having consensual relations doesn't hurt anyone, while adultery typically involves at least one victim. So why is it alright to deny gay married people benefits based on Biblical teaching, but not adulterers, on any kind of sinner for that matter? Blasphemers, idol worshipers, coveters? Isn't it obvious why critics are saying this bill is a blatant attempt at discrimination against gays? Why doesn't the religious basis for denying employee benefits apply to all sins?

If these legislators are basing the law simply on religious principles, why do they limit the criteria for denying benefits to just homosexuality? There really is no logical explanation other than prejudice and hate. But the most important reason this law is wrong is it violates another main instruction from God not to judge other people, less we be judged.

It is God's role to judge us and punish us for our transgressions against him. If God is as serious about homosexuality as the legislators pushing this legislation, gays will, no doubt, suffer plenty on Judgment Day. So why do some employers feel such a need to "play God?" I think the story of Jesus and the adulterous woman provides a key insight into this issue. "Let he that is without sin cast the first stone."

Are we to assume the legislators and their constituents pushing anti-gay legislation meet this criterion?

Gary Brinker, professor of sociology

Fort Hays State University

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